The bullet journal
This is something I’ve known about for aaaaages, but recently I’ve noticed them being mentioned a lot more. Most likely because of the new year and starting a fresh 2017 diary. And I have to admit, at first it was very confusing. It took me a while to fully understand and begin using this system.
I’ve been using my bullet journal since September 2016 and it is the perfect diary/planner/organisational tool ever. It’s life changing and my sister and I are obsessed. I find myself being more productive and motivated to get things done. But tbh who doesn’t love ticking things off a to-do list.
Starting a bullet journal is very much a trial and error type of thing, and it takes a while to find the style and layouts that you like. But it is so worth it. There are no strict borders to follow and you can add in whatever you like. Whatever works for you. If something isn’t working, you can change it. And you can even use it as a scrapbook type of journal too which I think is pretty cool.
So what even is it?
It’s basically a system of creating your own diary to suit your needs. It can be pretty confusing so I’d recommend either reading the creator, Ryder Carrol’s, website or watching his video explaining it all. When I first saw this video, it actually didn’t appeal to me. It looked dull and hard to get to grips with. But I later came across videos such as Boho Berry’s which were great for inspiration. I actually don’t follow the official system to a tee. I just kept the parts I thought would work well for me. If you’re wanting to start a bullet journal, do your research because it definitely makes it all a lot easier. Pinterest is an amazing place for inspiration as well as youtube and other blogs.
What do you need?
I use the leuchtturm1917 dotted A5 notebook in the colour Anthracite, which you can see is a nice grey. You can buy this journal in loads of different colours from amazon or buy the official bullet journal leuchtturm which I think only comes in black and emerald. The best thing about this notebook is the dotted pages. They give just enough guidance without being constrictive or bold like lines or squares would be. They also have a contents/index page, page marker threads and all of the pages are numbered for you.
The pens I use are the coloured Tombow dual brush pens which I also bought from amazon in a set of pastel colours. These pens are seen a lot in ‘plan with me’ videos on youtube and are pretty great to add colour to your journal. They have both an ordinary felt tip end and a brush tip end. For drawing and writing I tend to use the MUJI 0.5 black gel pens and the Uni Pin fine line 0.2 pens as they both have a strong pigmented ink which doesn’t bleed through the paper too much. The Uni Pin is better for drawing borders etc while the Muji is better for writing. But tbh they’re both just black pens and I’m not fussed if I only have a black biro to hand.
I also used to put washi tape in my journal last year which I loved but I haven’t got round to buying more yet. It’s more of a style over function thing so it doesn’t bother me if I use it or not. You can make your journal as decorative or basic as you like. Sometimes it’s nice to get creative but others it’s better to just keep things simple.
This isn’t a full overview of my journal btw, it’s mainly a focus on the month of February to provide some inspo for if you want to start for the month ahead. Some of the pages I haven’t included photographs of are the index, my 2017 goals and milestone trackers. Along with my highlights of the year and a uni grade tracker. But I thought I’d include my semester planner/overview type thing. As you can see I use it to keep track of when my reports, essays, presentations etc. are due which I like to colour code. This is probably one of my most useful double page spreads in my journal and I find myself checking it A LOT. If you’re a student, I would highly recommend including a page like this as it is really helpful when looking at the months ahead.
So on to February!
The calendar spread
This is pretty self explanatory. Just a standard calendar. The sticky note tabs I use when trying to first plan what blog posts to post and when before solidifying it by putting ink to paper – yikes.
The monthly review spread
This is something I started in January and am not sure if I’ll continue onto March. In theory it’s a place for me to reflect on the month both as it goes along and at the end. Noting any books I read and what went well. I also have a section for things I’d like to improve on e.g. if I ended up waking up late a lot this could be something to work at next month. But I seem to forget I even have this page so I wouldn’t say it’s necessary.
The monthly tracker
Don’t get me wrong – I know this is a bit extra, but I couldn’t resist. I think it’s really cool to track certain things everyday such as whether you drank 2 litres of water or if you didn’t spend any money. I also find it useful to know when I last used a face mask and little things like that which I often forget. Seeing how often you’ve worked out or eaten fast food is also really useful if you’re health conscious or wanting to improve.
The blog spread
Here I plan my blog posts and exactly when I will post them. Said ink to paper. I use a code – PWPTIFP which stands for photographs, written, published, tweet, instagram, facebook and pinterest. This helps me to keep on track with my posts and ensures I remember to share them everywhere. On the other page I track my social media counts which again is kinda extra but is still interesting to see. This is my first time using the spread in this way as inspired by Lily Pebbles as I found my original system wasn’t working for me. So let’s see how it goes!
The weekly spread
This is how I lay out each week and it seems to work for me. This is used to plan the week ahead. Each week I write when I’m in uni so I can then plan other things around it. Things such as when I’m going to the gym – lol – and what meals I plan to eat. I also write a master weekly to do list which then feeds into my daily to do lists. Does the word week look weird to you now?
The daily spreads
Here is an example of my daily to do lists. I use the dot, cross and arrow system of bullet journal lists which seems to work well for me. The rest of the bullet journal key I find doesn’t apply to my needs. As you can see I don’t stick to strict borders or use any layout whatsoever. I just use the double page if and when I need it to write to-do lists. I also ended up doing some maths on this page – it really is a whatever I need it to be page.
And that’s about it for my February bullet journal. I hope you found this useful! If you have any questions at all, feel free to drop a comment and I’ll try my best to help!
Do you use a bullet journal?
Thanks for reading,